What Kind Of Microwave Can You Put In A Kitchen Island?

Kitchen islands are an increasingly popular aspect of home kitchen design, and there are plenty of imaginative ways to make use of the extra space they provide.

What kind of microwave can you put in a kitchen island though, and what should you be thinking about before making your choice?

There are two main options to consider here, and each one has its pros and cons:

Drawer Microwaves: As the name suggests, these microwaves are specifically designed to slide in and out of a drawer space situated within the kitchen island.

Countertop Microwaves: Any traditional countertop microwave that will fit the space you have to work with! It’s not quite as elegant a solution, but trim kits are often available to fill in any gaps.

That’s the short answer, then. In the rest of this article I’m going to take a closer look at each option.

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Drawer Microwaves

Drawer microwaves are arguably the most elegant option for your kitchen island.

They slide in and out of the chosen space neatly and cleanly, and are often easier to access and work with than countertop microwaves that are placed at a lower height.

The main disadvantage of a drawer microwave, however, is the cost. They’re a niche kitchen solution at the end of the day, and so they command a niche price!

When the time comes to replace your drawer microwave, you’ll also have fewer options to choose from on the market, and at a higher price tag – whatever model you end up choosing.

Sharp KB-6524PS 24-Inch Microwave Drawer...
  • ROOM TO SPARE: 1.2 cubic feet interior offers plenty of cooking space, with room enough for a 4-quart casserole dish or a 20-oz....
  • SMART DESIGN: AutoTouch key opens and closes the door automatically when your hands are full
  • SENSOR COOK TECHNOLOGY: 11 sensor programs virtually eliminate guesswork from cooking and defrost times
  • WATTAGE: 950 Watts
  • DIMENSIONS(WxHxD): 23.88" x 15.88" x 26.19"

Countertop Microwaves

Countertop microwaves give you much greater flexibility when it comes to both budget, design and features. 

If you’ve got the right space to play with and the right money, you can add whatever appliance you care to!

They’re not so pretty to look at though, as gaps are required to ensure that plenty of air is free to flow around the vents.

You can buy trim kits which disguise the gaps while maintaining airflow, but these are expensive and fiddly to install yourself.

Depending on where they’re located on the island, these microwaves can be awkward to access as well. This might be particularly problematic if you’re tall, and plan to use the microwave frequently.

Don’t forget either that you’re not just stooping down to access the microwave, you’ll be reaching inside it for hot food, and at a potentially awkward angle. That introduces a safety risk.

Panasonic Microwave Oven NN-SN686S Stainless...
  • Panasonic Microwave: This 1200 Watt high power, 1.2 cubic foot capacity stainless steel countertop/built in microwave delivers a...
  • Inverter Technology with Turbo Defrost: Patented Inverter Technology generates a seamless stream of power and delivers consistent,...
  • Compact Design: This countertop microwave with 13.4 inch turntable is thinner, lighter and more efficient, allowing you to devote...
  • Smart Cooking Settings with Genius Sensor: Built in automatic genius sensor adjusts power and times based on different foods;...
  • Keep Warm Feature: This inverter microwave keeps soups, gravies or desserts warm and fresh until ready to serve. Power Source 120V...

Wrapping Up

So, as you can see there’s not a simple answer to this question. Much depends on your budget, your aesthetic needs, and how often you’re likely to use the microwave.

My advice?

If you’re only going to use the microwave occasionally, go for a countertop microwave. You’ll have so many more options to choose from, and they’re more budget-friendly too.

For regular use, or where design is everything, go for a drawer microwave. Just be ready to pay a more expensive price tag for this slicker look!